Readings — From the May 2013 issue

Fei Fei

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By Liao Yiwu, from For a Song and a Hundred Songs, out next month from New Harvest. Liao, who was born in China in 1958, spent four years in prison for writing dissident poetry after the Tiananmen Square massacre. God Is Red, a collection of Liao’s profiles of Christians in China, was published in 2011. Translated from the Chinese by Wenguang Huang.

In 1988, when the era of automobiles dawned in China, my older sister, Fei Fei, died in a freak car accident. She was thirty-seven years old.

It was the first time I had experienced the death of someone close to me. My grandpa had passed away earlier that year, but he had lived in a remote village and had never been part of my life. Mourning for him seemed merely a family obligation. But Fei Fei was my beloved sister; we were two melons from the same vine, and her death affected me profoundly.

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